Culture&Arts

Netflix faces lawsuit over Black Mirror: Bandersnatch

Netflix faces lawsuit over Black Mirror: Bandersnatch

Bandersnatch, which aired on December 28, prompts viewers to make quick decisions for protagonist Stefan Butler, allowing them to determine the narrative.

The ever-twisted, "Choose Your Own Adventure" movie Black Mirror: Bandersnatch has certainly been a hit for Netflix, but that doesn't mean everyone in the world is happy about the success.

Bandersnatch isn't the first instance of Netflix using interactivity in their content, with the platform previously including it in content aimed at children including Puss in Book: Trapped in an Epic Tale and Stretch Armstrong: The Breakout.

"On at least one occasion before the release of Bandersnatch, Chooseco sent a written cease and desist request to Netflix asking the US -based streaming giant to stop using the CHOOSE YOUR OWN ADVENTURE mark in connection with its marketing efforts for another television program". The lawsuit also states that, prior to Bandersnatch's release, Chooseco sent Netflix a cease and desist request. The franchise was extremely popular during the 1980s, growing to 184 books with more than 250 million copies printed.

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Chooseco LLC is asking for at least $25 million in damages or profits (whichever is greater) from Netflix Inc., owing to alleged trademark infringement, false designation of origin, unfair competition, and trademark dilution. The film gets bloody and violent, which is part of the reason Chooseco has chosen to sue, claiming the disturbing nature is inappropriate for young readers and that the adult imagery "tarnishes" the Choose Your Own Adventure brand.

Chooseco added that 20th Century Fox now holds an "options contract to develop an interactive series" and that Netflix has been actively pursuing the licence since 2016.

When contacted by Pitchfork, representatives for Netflix offered no comment.

Chooseco claims Netflix came looking for a license to use their trademark in 2016, but negotiations fell apart.